UK manufacturers celebrate Queen’s Award for Enterprise success

Almost 250 businesses across the UK have received a new Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising their contribution to international trade, innovation and sustainable development.

The winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have been announced today, along with the five individual recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.

This year’s winners are UK businesses leading the way in a broad range of industries – with manufacturing being particularly well represented.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious business awards in the country, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary for the winners of the Queen’s Awards scheme. The winning businesses will also be able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.  

Seven businesses received awards for sustainable development, with a further 92 awards presented for innovation. The category for international trade increased to 150 winners, indicating the high quality of entries from businesses showing outstanding growth in overseas earnings.

Six small and medium-sized companies – Powder Systems Ltd; Peak Scientific Instruments; Liquid Gas Equipment Ltd; JCB Power; Visions RT, and Inciner8 Limited – all achieved double recognition, receiving awards for both innovation and international trade.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “The Queen’s Awards are a great way of celebrating the best of British business.

“Whether you’re a disruptive start-up making life easier for your customers or a large company with a blockbuster product, these awards recognise your contribution to enterprise.

“We are a country full of exciting and innovative businesses that deserve to be celebrated. I’d like to commend all the winners for their hard work in creating jobs for people and driving our growing economy.”

International advanced wound care and dermatology company, Crawford Healthcare is one such company, winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade).

George Osborne & Richard Anderson (CEO, Crawford Healthcare)
George Osborne & Richard Anderson (CEO, Crawford Healthcare).

The Cheshire-based firm has been recognised for its outstanding export growth over the past three years. Having established a subsidiary in the US and a joint venture partnership in Germany – the world and Europe’s largest wound care markets, respectively, Crawford was acknowledged for increasing its overseas revenue as a proportion of overall revenue by 38%.

Crawford Healthcare CEO, Richard Anderson commented: “Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the result of an unbelievably dedicated team, both overseas and in the UK, developing and marketing truly innovative products to transform the way the global healthcare industry works.

“The past three years have seen us build on our exceptional growth in the UK to create a scalable international model for future success. Chronic wound care has become a major health concern globally, and, while our products are UK-developed, international collaboration has been a huge factor in our rapid expansion.”

Taunton-based LEW Techniques has seen its overseas sales grow by 60% over the past three years.
Taunton-based LEW Techniques has seen its overseas sales grow by 60% over the past three years.

Manufacturer of precision miniature package components for the mounting and interconnect of specialist semiconductor devices, LEW Techniques won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

The Taunton-based business has seen its overseas sales grow by 60% over the past three years, with the proportion of sales exported increasing to 66% of total sales with major export markets including China; Germany; Malaysia; the US, and France.

Its technical director, Andrew Walker commented: “Our products are used in telecommunications; commercial optronics; defence; automotive, and space; and during our last financial year we shipped over one million components across more than 200 different designs.

“As a build-to-print subcontract manufacturer, our fortunes tend to lie with the fortunes of our customers and thus we strive to ensure we are very proactive in our support of them. Being flexible, reactive and supportive when there are problems are all traits that we are praised for in our customer feedback and keeps our customers coming back.”

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group manufactures fuel tanks for the Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft (image courtesy of MADG-180).
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group manufactures fuel tanks for the Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft (image courtesy of MADG-180).

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category; it’s second award in three years, having won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2013.

The award recognises how, during the course of three consecutive financial years, Marshall experienced an increase of almost 70% in its international trade. During the three-year period, more than half of Marshall’s exports were engineering and support services to airframe OEMs, governments, Air Forces and commercial operators.

Of particular note, in 2014, Marshall completed a complex, time-sensitive two-aircraft cabin upgrade programme for TAP, Portugal’s leading airline. Also contributing to international sales was, and continues to be, the manufacture of fuel tanks for the Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, for which the OEM presented Marshall with a ‘Supplier of the Year’ award in 2014.

Leading lifting solutions specialists, GGR Group also received the presitgous award in the International Trade category.

GGR Group’s UNIC URW-706 mini crane worked alongside the Shard’s tower crane to help it complete the building’s glazing work on schedule (image courtesy of GGR Group).
GGR Group’s UNIC URW-706 mini crane worked alongside the Shard’s tower crane to help it complete the building’s glazing work on schedule (image courtesy of GGR Group).

GGR was established in 1995 by brother and sister team Graeme and Gill Riley, who now hold the posts of chief executive and managing director respectively. From small beginnings, the company now employs more than 100 people across three UK sites; its headquarters in Oldham; Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire, and at Blantyre in Scotland.

Its machines have been used on high-profile projects including The Shard in London, Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood.

The Queen’s Award recognises GGR’s successful business model of working with suppliers in Japan and the company’s network of dealers in Europe and the Middle East to develop a range of lifting solutions.

Graeme Riley, chief executive of GGR Group, said: “We have played an instrumental role in the co-development of our products alongside our supplier and dealer network.

“As the construction industry has developed, we have consistently engaged in new product development activity, in order to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive area of the market.

“We are now Europe’s leading supplier of vacuum handling equipment; compact pick and carry cranes; UNIC mini spider cranes, and restricted access lifting machinery. Our mantra has, and always will be, ‘Innovation Not Imitation’.”

Staff at world class foundry, MRT Castings also celebrated after winning a Queen’s Award For International Trade.

Family-owned and managed, MRT has seen export turnover grow by 330% over the past three years – with overseas trade now accounting for 56% of business at the aluminium die caster, which last year recorded turnover of £7.2m.

The Hampshire company casts and machines complex engineering components for OEMs all over the world, particularly within the medical, aerospace and defence sectors.

Many of the components manufactured by MRT are life-critical or safety-critical, requiring the highest levels of engineering expertise. The company has grown its team and also invested heavily in new technology to help drive production, with a complement of four advanced pressure casting machines and 21 cutting-edge CNC machining centres.

Vegware has grown 57% on average a year since 2012, now accounting for around 2% of UK catering disposables.
Vegware has grown 57% on average a year since 2012, now accounting for around 2% of UK catering disposables.

Edinburgh eco packaging firm Vegware secured their second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation – the SME’s 60th accolade in recognition of its innovations in zero waste for foodservice – compostable catering disposables backed up with free expert recycling support.

Scotland’s fifth fastest growing-firm, and among the UK’s top 100, Vegware has grown 57% on average a year since 2012, now accounting for around 2% of UK catering disposables.

Managing director Joe Frankel, who founded the firm in 2008, commented: “The journey has been fantastic – when we started, the only option for used takeaway packaging was to go to landfill or incineration, as most still does.

“But we changed that by creating the widest range of genuinely compostable plastic-free catering disposables, and simultaneously working closely with the waste sector to ensure recycling options for clients all around the UK.”